Tim Westergren Isn’t Against Airtalent on Pandora

Posted on July 21, 2011


Recently I was lucky enough to talk with Pandora’s Chief Strategy Officer Tim Westergren for an article I was writing about comedy radio.

First off, I have to say I was impressed that he took the time out of his busy schedule to talk with me. I was flattered that he didn’t put me off onto someone else. He got on the phone and I appreciate it.

While I was talking to him I slipped in a question that had little to do with the article I was writing. It started as being just a curiosity of mine and ended up being the making of an interesting post.

I asked if he could ever see a time when Pandora would have airtalent (then I held my breath).

“It’s not off the table,” he replied. “It would be great to be able to in a way that fits this particular form of listening.”

(I exhaled).

He views listening to Pandora as being different from listening to the radio and says the challenge is finding the right way to integrate a human voice into the experience and how to personalize it to a listener’s taste the same way the music is.

That’s fine with me. I was just happy to hear that one of the most innovative people in media today, whose service is clearly encroaching on territory that radio has owned for so many years, believes there could still be a need for airtalent if Pandora takes over the world.